Friday, March 12, 2010

Shelly Says ~ "Here I am!"

I have heard you calling. Your voice is undeniable once I know how to tune in. Your voice is discernable once I block all the others out. Your voice is true when others lie. Your voice tells me to do things that others tell me I cannot. Your voice is ever more strong the closer I draw near. Your voice is clear now that I have committed to becoming more than just a good bible study girl!

When I first thought of diving into my next bible study, Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl, by Lysa TerKeurst, I was excited and ready to begin! Then, life started happening. One thing led to another, and before I could catch my breath, my reserved bible study time slot became open to more work. Time to learn more about God turned into time to make more money. *This should have been my 1st sign.

You see, I am a recovering workaholic. Often times, my flesh tries to find my worth in my work when my true worth is found in Christ alone. It's good to be determined to work hard; but, it is bad to let hard work determine your worth.

Back to the point: To make a long story shorter, I decided not to take the bible study. I decided to take the work instead. Deep in my soul, I felt like taking the bible study was the best option; however, at the forefront of my soul was the desire to bring in more money to my financially-hurting household. Beware: Worldly desires often want to overrule heavenly callings.

That's when God stepped in!

I prayed that if God REALLY wanted me to take the bible study, then He would have to post a big ole sign. At the time, the only signs I saw were dollar signs.

Within days, I got a call from the lady who had hired me for the work. She explained that she would no longer need my services due to financial reasons. I hung up, confused and a little angry. But, now I was free to... find more work. That's right. As soon I hung up, my mind was on MORE work to replace the work I had just lost. By the way, * this should have been my 2nd sign.

Later that week, I met a friend for lunch. This friend just so happened to be the woman who referred me for the work that I was now denied. Over lunch, I explained to my friend how the work had been cancelled but I was not shaken because I was convinced that God would take care of me and find me more work. My friend must not have heard me say, "I'm looking for more work to replace that work" because the next thing she said was,"Great! Now you're free to take the bible study! We've got 12 signed up so far and I'm facilitating it!" * This should have been my 3rd sign.

My response was, "No, I won't be taking the study because I have to work:" to which her response was, "Don't worry about the money. I'll give you the books. You can pick them up at my office tomorrow."

I didn't know what to say next. I wanted to shout, "WHAT?!?!" I mean... was she not listening to me? Suddenly, I felt a huge blanket of despair come over me. We were near the end of our lunch time, so I decided to drop the subject and get out of there as quickly as possible. When I made that decision, the despair quickly dissipated, so I decided to stay a while longer and move onto other topics. Our lunch time ended peacefully and with her looking forward to me being present at the bible study... to which I just nodded my head and smiled.

Whew! Now, I could get on to that job search!

When I got home, I could not shake the undeniable Voice of Reason entering my spirit. I felt bad that I had no intention of picking up those bible study books. So, I told myself, "I'll pick them up and just look at them. Then, if nothing else, I'll do the bible study on my own if I feel like it's a good bible study."

I picked up the books. Then, I opened the workbook and read the first line: Have you ever wished you could not only know God's truth but also feel equipped to live it out in your everyday life?

"Yes," I answered aloud as I wept. This is exactly what I had been praying about for some time.

I imagine that God sighed deeply with relief at "my discovery." He could take a break from trying to convince me that this bible study had been written with me in mind. Finally!

Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl touched me deeply. It changed me, rearranged me and convinced me to take a step I had not taken... into the unknown... where Jesus was calling.
He has been calling for some time, but I've been too distracted with work.

To wrap up the long story made shorter: Now, I am choosing to listen to the Voice of Truth. I am choosing to act on the call to ministry that I so vividly heard as I was talking to a dear friend and pastor earlier this week (one of many signs). While I don't know exactly what ministry looks like for me, I am now on a journey to find out.

Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl means living the life I love to read about. "I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back!"

Philippians 3:14 MSG (from one of my favorite passages of Scripture)

*** By the way, I missed the last class because I was sick, but I did ask my friend (the facilitator) if I could borrow the DVD to do that last session on my own. After I got off the phone with my pastor/friend earlier this week, I sat down to complete the final session of the bible study.
It is poignantly named:

Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl
In My Calling
; )

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